One of the most critical infrastructures for restoring order to a catastrophic disaster is that of communication. Communication is necessary for those in need to call in their needs and to alert authorities of growing problems. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina there is no cell phone use and those who have cell phones cannot use them because the towers are down, the power to the towers are down and by now anyone with a cell phone has dead batteries with no way to recharge them. Most cars are submerged and/or were submerged and you cannot start them or use the batteries to charge through the cigarette lighter adapters.
But those who have not discharged their cell phones or have 3G wireless phones with new technologies and lower use of batteries still have a chance. If even one cell tower is up and they are within range they have a chance of getting through, but each time the system is busy they use up more of their batteries. If they do get through they might be disconnected due to spotty service and distance from tower; you know the joke; “Can you here me now?”
Luckily we have technology now to improve cell service via mobile command units with cell tower repeaters and expandable giant beach ball shaped balloons, which are cell towers in the sky. Unfortunately it is tough for those communication command centers to get into the area. One idea is to put one on top of the Interstate Over Pass Interchange using a Giant Sikorsky Helicopter. They will have situational awareness and be able to have a direct line of site communication station. The other location should a top one of the largest building in New Orleans, which has back up power systems or put the Command Center on top with its own power source.
The communication station in the sky is a good idea and one of the best ways to insure communication and it is somewhat of a new technology, you can learn more here:
Using a balloon or blimp with cellular phone equipment you can immediately restore power and information flows. Communication is the key to real time information to help those with real needs and connect the unconnected. If we tethered the balloon to one of the largest buildings we should be able to have cell service to get information from the battlespace and Soup Bowl Death Zone. Think on this for future disasters.